Interview with Teddy Pruett, October 13, 2001

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:00 - Introduction

Play segment

Partial Transcript: --interview with Teddy Pruett at the American Quilt Study Group Conference at Colonial Williamsburg.

Segment Synopsis: The interviewer introduces her subject, Teddy Pruett, who is being interviewed for the Quilt Alliance S.O.S Project. Pruett tells the interviewer were she grew up and considers herself from, the state of Florida.

00:00:32 - Quilt for the interview

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, why don't we also start by you telling about your--the piece that you brought today. When did you make it?

Segment Synopsis: Pruett talks about her quilt, “The Eggplant that Ate Baltimore”, a parody quilt of the Baltimore Album Quilts. Pruett discusses her enjoyment of working with recycled fabrics, which is where she got the eggplants from. She details how the eggplant fabric came into her possession. Pruett then talks about other various recycled fabrics which are present in the quilt, most of them coming from the early to mid 20th century. Pruett tells the interviewer she uses recycled fabrics because she wants her quilts to be unique. She then details the design of her quilt and why they are on her quilt. Pruett discusses how her quilts are sometimes offensive to people and how she believes they are humorous and artistic.

Keywords: Absurdist humor; Eggplant art; Fabric art; Fabrics; Funny quilts; Humorous quilts; Recycled fabrics; Recycled materials

Subjects: Baltimore (Md.); Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Textile artists; Textiles; Women; Women’s history; Women’s voices

00:07:34 - Beginnings in quilting / Artistry in quilting

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, when did you begin to quilt? Who taught you?

Segment Synopsis: Pruett describes the first quilt she made for her daughter. She used her sewing skills to create the quilt and describes herself as a self-taught quilter. She learned to sew from her mother, and her grandmother was a quilter, but she never had exposure to her quilting. Pruett talks about the first quilts she made and how she created them through her limited means. She then discusses the quilting classes she took and how to properly make quilts. Pruett describes her lack of artistic talent or awareness and how she creates the vision she has without any artistic techniques. She believes this form of creating quilts is exciting and interesting.

Keywords: Artistry; Fabric arts; Fabrics; Quilting classes; Quilting techniques; Sewing techniques

Subjects: Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Needlework; Quilting; Quilts; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:12:59 - Quilt influences

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Are there any quilt makers that have influenced your work over the years?

Segment Synopsis: Pruett discusses how she believes she does not emulate any other quilters, even people she admires. She talks about the people she admires, particularly people who create quilts she cannot emulate herself. Pruett likes less traditional, more abstract quilts. She names a few quilters who are influential to her and why. Pruett talks about using various techniques, including hand sewing, machine sewing, and applique to complete her works.

Keywords: Abstract quilts; Abstraction; Art quilts; Artistic works; Artistry; Hand quilting; Hand sewing; Machine quilting; Quilt artists; Quilters

Subjects: Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Machine sewing; Quilting; Quilts; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:15:25 - Quilting in everyday life

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How does quilting impact your daily life?

Segment Synopsis: Pruett describes how quilting has a significant impact on her daily life. Pruett discusses her career as an appraiser and quilt lecturer, which gives her insight into the quilting world and how it operates. She talks about how, if she could, she would devote all of her time to creating quilts.

Keywords: Art quilts; Craftsmen; Daily life; Everyday life; Quilt appraisers; Quilt artists; Quilting techniques; Routines; Traditional quilts; Women in quilting

Subjects: Appraisers; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:16:42 - Best and worst aspects of quilting

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What do you like most and what do you like least about quilting?

Segment Synopsis: Pruett discusses her favorite and least favorite aspects of quilting. She talks about interacting with fabrics and designing quilts as one of her favorite aspects. Pruett describes machine quilting as her least favorite aspect of quilting.

Keywords: American quilts; Art quilts; Creative processes; Fabric arts; Fabrics; Machine quilting; Patriotic quilts; Quilt artists; Quilting techniques

Subjects: Artists; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Machine sewing; Quilting; Quilts; Sewing machines; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:19:27 - Artistic powers of quilts / Qualities of a great quilter

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What do you think makes a quilt artistically powerful?

Segment Synopsis: Pruett talks about how she is drawn to certain quilts, but she is not sure why. She talks about how the artist can take a simple design, like a 9-patch quilt, and create something visually powerful. Pruett believes anyone who creates a quilt is a great quilter because it is something a woman accomplishes in her busy life. She talks about her belief that there are too many traditional opinions in quilting.

Keywords: 9-patch quilts; Creative processes; Creativity; Fabrics; Quilt artists; Simple quilts; Traditional quilts; Visual interest; Women in quilting

Subjects: Artists; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Textile artists; Textiles; Visual arts; Women

00:21:39 - Therapeutic aspects of quilting / Quilts as storytellers

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What are some of the other, uh, therapeutic aspects that you've found, personally, in quilting?

Segment Synopsis: Pruett discusses how she enjoys quilting because it gives her time to herself and how she enjoys working with the fabrics. Pruett describes her belief that quilts are storytellers and why she believes this to be true. She talks about her personal experiences with quilts and their storytelling qualities, which is one of her favorite aspects of quilting.

Keywords: Art quilts; Fabric arts; Fabrics; Relaxation methods; Stories; Therapeutic quilting; Women in quilting

Subjects: Artists; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Storytelling; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:23:45 - Quilts in life and society

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Why is quilting important in your life?

Segment Synopsis: Pruett talks about how she enjoys all aspects of quilting and its history. She discusses how quilting is essential to her personality and her happiness. Pruett then talks about the importance of quilts in American society, particularly for women. She believes women’s voices were best preserved in their quilts and textiles, since they could not own property or have as strong of a voice as their male counterparts.

Keywords: American women; Fabric arts; Fabrics; Women and art; Women and textiles; Women in quilting

Subjects: American women 1600-1900; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Textile artists; Textiles; Women; Women’s voices

00:25:43 - The future of quilting / Personal meanings of quilts

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What questions should we be asking about quilts and quilt makers today?

Segment Synopsis: Pruett discusses how the stories behind the quilts are the most important parts of the quilts she appraises. She believes the stories are more important than the workmanship and wishes to know the stories of the women who created quilts in generations previously. Pruett then talks about the future of quilting and how people believe it is a dying industry, but she points out evidence to suggest the contrary. Pruett discusses how her quilts have nothing to do with the region she lives in, either the American south or Florida. Pruett makes a final statement about how she wants to be remembered for not following the rules and not being a great technical quilt maker.

Keywords: American women; Creative processes; Fabric arts; Fabrics; Quilting techniques; Technical quilting; Women and art; Women and textiles; Women in quilting

Subjects: Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Textile artists; Textiles; Women; Women’s voices